I recently had the displeasure of dealing with the ''customer service'' end of those involved in the B2B Marketing Summit - B2B Marketing.
They offer a range of services including events and courses for B2B marketeers. However, they simply don't utilize many of the practices they claim to teach people about.
I originally called to cancel attending the show expecting a refund for the hundreds I'd spend with them. After telling me it was non-refundable I went to look up the Terms & Conditions, which I could not find in any email I was sent & the web page was down.
I explained this to various members of staff who pushed me from pillar to post and had to chase them to deal with my query. When I spoke to a representative they were rude & promised to send me the T&C's - which I still have not been emailed.
When I attended the event I was underwhelmed to stay the least - they had their branding everywhere. To me, more time had been spent on decorating the venue than actually providing an experience. The delivery was underwhelming to say the least. In fact, that's how I could describe my whole experience with them - looked good on the outside but delivery was sub par at best.
It concerns me that more companies don't think about the lifetime value of a customer & peer to peer recommendations. It concerns me even more that this company professes to teach people in the industry.
All of this got me thinking about the state of marketing educators in general. As a marketeer I will always make sure I educate myself, so that I am top of my game. However, I will choose extremely carefully the next time.
The most worrying thing for me was the lack of good marketing practice when I dealt with this company. At the heart of all good marketing is good customer service and if a company that claims to be an educator in the industry doesn't even have it's Terms & Conditions available, a quick customer response when there's a problem & can't even get a customers name right when they reply to their query. I don't understand how they can reliably educate people in the industry.
The people at the event, by that I mean the fellow marketeers, speakers & company's were all pleasant. It was just the organizer that I had an issue with.
Overall the event felt more 'sell to marketeers' focused than focused on a learning & networking environment. I don't mind attending shows with companies that are trying to sell to me but I do mind attending shows that are seller focused, after I've paid for a ticket expecting to have a different experience.
Post-event I couldn't find any trusted sources that reviewed the company, which is a shame because it means positive and negative reviews aren't being heard and other marketeers won't have information from past customers to inform future decisions.
I'd just like to encourage all fellow marketers B2B or B2C orientated to listen to peer recommendations & choose wisely when it comes to further education in the industry. I worry that there are a lot of companies out there that claim to educate marketers but simply just rip them off.
If anyone can recommend to me an excellent place of education, course or event to attend I am all ears!